The Pentecost Issue of Episcorific came out this weekend. Here's the intro I wrote about the voice of young adults in the church.
Driving an un-air-conditioned truck on a stretch of Interstate 10 between San Antonio and Houston, my brother Jason and I decided we needed a new project. Despite living in the same apartment, we didn’t really spend that much time together. We needed something to facilitate a little more fraternal bonding. After discarding a few ideas– a band, a book club, racquetball – we decided to create a zine for young adults in the Episcopal Church.
In the time since the first issue of Episcorific was published a year ago, Jason has moved to Seattle to work for the Episcopal Church and I have enrolled at a school in New York to study writing. We’ve dated some people. We’ve made up our minds, then changed them. We’ve wrestled with ourselves and struggled with God.
This is the way it is with most young adults. Most of us discover that things don’t fall into place after graduation. It takes a while to figure out who we are and what we want. That doesn’t mean that young adults don’t have a lot to say. Whether it’s reflective, prophetic, poetic, or artistic (or all of the above) Episcorific is designed to be a place where men and women in their 20s and 30s can make their voices heard in the Episcopal community.
Episcorific has published the voices of young Episcopalians in five issues now. Contributors have examined the election of a new bishop as well as what it means to be a parent. They’ve explored worship and liturgy and written about the future of the church. They’ve told stories and shared their poetry and artwork. In all their voices, we can clearly hear the Spirit of God.
The disciples, sitting in the upper room, still determining what comes next, were stirred by wind and fire on the day of Pentecost. Filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in different languages.
I can’t imagine anything more unsettling. One minute you’re sitting around with your buddies, the next you’re hair is on fire and you’re speaking a language you don’t remember learning.
In the midst of our own lives – unsettling and surprising in other, less dramatic, ways – we are called to speak. Perhaps all the things that we find somewhat unpleasant – difficult moves, new careers and shifting relationships – are the wind and fire that spur us on. They cause us to reexamine our lives, to look at the church in a new way, to question and push and exhort our community. It is sometimes difficult for the more experienced or better educated in the church and outside of it to hear the voices, surprised as they are that we are speaking their language. Go to any church and it is easy to see that the number of young adults in the church is small. But read the pages of Episcorific, and you will see that, like the disciples and the prophets before them, our voice is strong.